Former Nuggets Patterson, Ely named in fraud ring

Oct 7, 2021, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:46 am
DENVER, CO--APRIL 26TH--Ruben Patterson fields questions after Nuggets practice at Pepsi Center Wed...
(Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
(Photo By Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Two former Denver Nuggets are among 18 former NBA players charged in attempting to defraud the league’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan of nearly $4 million.

Melvin Ely and Ruben Patterson, who each spent one season in Denver, were named as defendants in the case and each face a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, reports NBC News.

The other defendants include Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Desiree Allen, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Ronald Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss indicated Williams was the “scheme’s linchpin,” submitting false claims to the league’s health care plan.

“The defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception,” Strauss said. “They will have to answer for their flagrant violations of law.”

Ely played in 30 games for the Nuggets at power forward and center, making two starts in his only season with the club in 2010-’11.

A small forward/shooting guard, Patterson played in 26 games for Denver in 2005-’06, starting 20 of them.


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